The Range Rover Sport, code named L320, was launched in 2005 during a busy period of development for Land Rover. It was offered with the 2.7 litre TDV6 engine, and two different petrol engined options, the Supercharged V8 or the 4.4 AJ V8. Later, in 2007, the more powerful TDV8 diesel engine was added to the engine range. Most Sports however are in TDV6 guise, and all have automatic transmissions as standard.
Suspension and drivetrain are remarkably similar to the Discovery 3, although the Sport chassis is slightly shorter than the equivalent Discovery 3 ; independent wishbone suspension with anti-roll and stabilizing bars make for an extremely assured drive with car-like road holding and comfort levels. Crossed Linked Electronic Air Suspension (EAS) added to the overall feel of comfort.
The TDV6 engine is generally extremely robust, but suffers from Exhaust Gas Recurculation (EGR) Valve failure frequently, resulting in loss of power and poor fuel economy. The TDV8 engines also suffer from EGR faults and, more expensively, turbo failure. Gearboxes are proving to be reliable, but due to the complexity of the suspension system it requires frequent attention as bushes and link rods commonly wear, as do steering joints. If left unchecked these issues can lead to premature and uneven tyre wear. Regular and accurate four wheel alignment is necessary to avoid tyre wear. The electronic handbrake can cause problems if not regularly checked, cleaned and adjusted, and is expensive to rectify if failure occurs. Brake wear can be heavy, as the vehicle itself weighs over 5000kg and has the capability of exceeding 110mph in diesel form.
Trim levels in HSE specification are good, with satellite navigation, leather seats, cruise control, dual climate control, park distance sensors and large alloy wheels as standard.
In all, the Range Rover Sport is a successful luxury 4x4 which is satisfying and reassuring to drive, but most definitely requires regular specialist maintenance and is not really a vehicle that the owner- driver can maintain without expensive software equipment and detailed knowledge. Check out the workshop section of our website for details; we have years of specialist technical expertise working with the Range Rover Sport, and if you own one, a clued-up specialist garage is a friend indeed!